I can't figure it out. I've worked so hard to prepare myself well enough for school applications that I assumed I would get in SOMEwhere. I waited till I had over 2 years experience (now close to 3). My GPA is 3.36--science grades avg 3.5-3.7. My GRE is 1200. I have my CCRN (93% score). I work in a relatively busy CVICU (16 beds), taking fresh hearts on a routine basis, use vasoactives, swans, and multiple types of central lines on a daily basis. I am proficient with all our "advanced" equipment (IABP, CRRT, and Abiomed's "Impella," a percutaneous LVAD--our only VAD used). I am in charge often, but not all the time. I have precepted experienced RNs and new grads. I am a leader and resource on our unit. My hospital is private, though fairly large with about 1200 beds between 2 campuses (non-teaching hospital). This is my 2nd career; 1st was in stage production--totally new path. I'm in my early 30s and not freaky looking or anything.

Last fall I applied to 3 schools, was interviewed at all 3, and was wait-listed by 2 and denied by the 3rd. There's been NO movement on the wait lists, so I've given up on that chance. I applied to 2 more schools this spring, 1 I interviewed at and just got my "I'm sorry" letter (not even wait-listed); the other I haven't interviewed with yet.

My recommendations are solid, though maybe I should pursue MDs or CRNAs? I've had RNs doing them for me and I couldn't imagine them being any more glowing, but maybe the lack of title detracts?

My essay is very persuasive, to-the-point, and fine-tuned. It has some personal elements that make it unique. English was one of my first majors (yes I will admit it), making writing one of my strengths.

I feel that my interviews have gone well. There were a couple clinical questions where I initially hesitated, but then did ok. My responses are otherwise thorough but not too long. I've had smiles and chuckles at some point during all my interviews. My last interviewer shook my hand at the end and said, "good interview." Maybe he was lying.

I have 2 stats classes, one grad-level biostatistics; both As. I have O-chem, A-. I do NOT have physics--maybe I should add this? My pathophys is the only low-point in my sciences/BSN, which is a B. I could retake this at a graduate level online (?)...

I'm going to add my CSC, maybe my CMC certs. I've considered going to a big teaching hospital with transplants and more VADS, ECMO, etc--but I don't want to. Otherwise, I'm feeling lost.

I know I would love anesthesia. Unlike many, I'm not in it for the money--I would love to learn it even if my pay stayed the same. I have been aiming for this since deciding on nursing as a career (6 years ago). However, this continued rejection is beginning to take a toll on me. I'm beginning to take it personally and it is shaking my confidence, which is hard to do.

Any ideas on what else I can do? Please chime in. I'm willing to do just about anything (except go to sub-par NA schools).